ASHLAND — Josh Hawley saved his best for last.
A senior and the Richland Source Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, Hawley capped his career with an impressive 56th-place showing in the Division I race at the state meet at Fortress Obetz earlier this month. Hawley finished in 16 minutes, 27.4 seconds, his best showing in three trips to the state meet.
He was a member of Ashland’s state-qualifying teams in 2018 and 2019. As a sophomore, he placed 156th in 17:54.4 as Ashland’s No. 6 man. The following year, Hawley was 110th in 16:49.1.
Hawley (16:17.98) and teammate Dylan Hickey (16:30.96) swept the top two spots at the Ohio Cardinal Conference meet in Wooster as the Arrows won their third straight conference crown. Hawley used the OCC title as a springboard to the postseason. He won the Owens Community College district meet in a personal record 16:19.5 and followed with a third-place showing at the Tiffin regional (16:22.2).
Hawley is the headliner of an All-Richland Source team that featured five other state qualifiers.
Levi Robinson, Plymouth: A senior and two-time state qualifier, Robinson broke Plymouth’s 37-year-old school record when he won the Buckeye Central Invitational in 15:59.58 in early-October. Robinson won the Firelands Conference meet in 16:40.7 and the Division III Galion district meet in 16:41.1. He was 13th at the Tiffin regional and capped his season by placing 38th in the Division III race at the state meet in 16:42.1.
Huck Finnegan, Shelby: Only a sophomore, Finnegan came into his own this fall after training with former state champ Caleb Brown. Finnegan won the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference meet in 16:47.2 and was runner-up at the Division II Galion district meet in 16:31.5. He placed 13th at the Tiffin regional in 16:56.1, helping Shelby earn one of the three qualifying state meet berths. Finnegan led the way for the Whippets at state, placing 40th in 16:47.6.
Chayse Whitesel, Lexington: A senior and four-time state qualifier, Whitesel finished 70th at Fortress Obetz earlier this month in 17:08.6. Whitesel was third at the Galion district meet in 16:50.3 and 11th at the Tiffin district in 16:52.9.
Dylan Hickey, Ashland: A senior, Hickey missed out on a state berth by six seconds, finishing ninth at the Tiffin regional meet in 16:35.1 (the top eight finishers qualified for the state meet). Hickey was runner-up to teammate Josh Hawley at the Ohio Cardinal Conference meet, finishing in 16:30.96. Hickey was a member of Ashland’s state-qualifying teams in 2019 and 2018, finishing 150th as a sophomore (17:50.7) and 54th in 2019 (16:21.9).
Josh Mohr, Shelby: A senior, Mohr finished second to teammate Huck Finnegan at the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference meet in 17:01.3 and was 12th at the Galion district in 17:20.1. Mohr was 17th at the Tiffin regional in 17:01.3 and 79th at state in 17:14.9, helping the Whippets to a 13th-place finish in the team standings.
Tommy O’Neill, Crestview: After finishing seventh at the Firelands Conference meet in 17:56.1, O’Neill found his stride in the postseason. The junior was fourth at the Galion district in 17:33.6 and 17th at the Tiffin regional in 16:56.7. O’Neill capped the season with a 100th-place finish at state (17:25.2).